Millennium Post

Viva voce for research through Skype at JNU; students, faculty irked

New Delhi: Eliciting tremendous uproar from students as well as the faculty, the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration has decided to cancel all mandatory public viva voce for research, directing its faculty to conduct this only via Skype.
On Thursday, the JNU Teachers' Association (JNUTA) said that it has "rejected" the proposal and adopted a resolution to this effect.
A statement from JNUTA read: "The decision that has left the faculty aghast has serious repercussions for the students as it rules out interaction, ends transparency, and excludes those who live in remote areas and do not have Skype. But according to the faculty this completely downgrades research and along with a series of such decisions – many of them betraying an authoritarian approach such as the VC's recent mandate making attendance compulsory for scholars – will effectively lower the academic standards of JNU."
"The general body of JNUTA met to 'strongly condemn the ongoing efforts of the Vice-Chancellor of JNU to further the destruction of the research culture and administration that he has already wreaked' and rejected the proposal in its entirety," added the statement.
Moreover, the Association announced its decision to boycott the administration's order making attendance compulsory for students, saying it was an "unproductive and meaningless form of bureaucratic work for teachers".
The decision was taken at the general body meeting (GBM) of the teachers body held on Wednesday.
JNUTA president Ayesha Kidwai, in a statement, said that to expect research scholars to report everyday, even when their work can require them to be in different parts of the city, was ridiculous.
"They can be on fieldwork or in conferences/seminars etc, and expecting them to drop in everyday is ridiculous, especially when every month Research Supervisors and Chairpersons sign on fellowship forms certifying their presence and satisfactory progress," Kidwai said.
The administration has made minimum 75 per cent attendance compulsory for all students. However, if a student is absent on valid medical grounds, then 60 per cent attendance will suffice.
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